Host is the story of six friends who hire a medium to hold a séance over Zoom during lockdown, but they get far more than they bargain for as things quickly go wrong. When an evil spirit starts invading their homes, they begin to realize they might not survive the night.
Starring: Haley Bishop, Radina Drandova, Edward Linard, Jemma Moore, Caroline Ward, and Emma Louise Webb
Directed by: Rob Savage
Written by: Rob Savage, Gemma Hurley, and Jed Shepherd
COVID-19 has taken lives, and changed the world we live in. Obviously it has created a lot of bad, but it has also given a chance for creators to do what they do best. In this case, it gave filmmaker Rob Savage, and this cast and crew the opportunity to make a film within the limits of quarantine. A big credit to them for taking the risk, and making a film that many in quarantine will be able to relate to until the horror begins to set in, and boy does it set in!
So one of the things that has become quite common in quarantine is the use of Zoom. Many have used it for work, some for podcasts, and others to talk with friends. However, there are probably very few who have used it to hold a séance. Any horror fan can tell you that’s a horrible idea, but this group of friends do it anyway. Yes, some of them have a little fear in what could happen, but overall they don’t take it too seriously.
The audience gets to watch the movie as if they’re in a Zoom meeting. This meeting has been created by Haley (Haley Bishop), who has invited five of her friends to join her. As each of them enter the room, the audience gets to learn a little about them, and possibly get tipped off at what’s in store for them. Then comes the introduction of Seylan (Seylan Baxter), who’s the medium that’s going to be running the séance. Things start off in a casual manner, but quickly turn dark.
An evil spirit begins to haunt this group of friends, and things spin out of control. No more joking around, as each will experience fear like they never have before. Of course this is the fun part for horror fans. There are all kinds of scares from some that are just plain old creepy to those that will get them jumping out of their seats. Not all of them will be new to fans, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be effective. There will be no spoiling of what happens to each of these friends, but it’s not going to be a happy ending.
What really works for the film and helps drive home the scares is how real it seems with obviously excluding the paranormal happenings. It will probably be particularly real for those who have used Zoom, or anything like it. They also don’t ignore some of the Zoom and computer options that are available. One of the girls uses a popular Zoom option that turns out to help make a very good scare. Another girl uses an option that adds a little humor at such a bad time for her. And because it’s a chat the audience gets to see each character right in front of their faces from each of their homes. This formula of realism and the paranormal worked for movies like “Paranormal Activity” and “Unfriended” so why not this one?
Some of the scariest horror films come from situations that appear all too real. In an unfortunate sign of the times, Zoom meetings are becoming part of the routine for many people, and now horror has used it to freak out audiences. This group of friends enter one of the most unforgettable Zoom meetings of all time. The film makes the most out of technology to combine some new scares with familiar ones. “Host” is dark, creepy, and will definitely leave audiences thinking twice about entering a Zoom meeting! Because I will now remember this film every time we record a podcast on Zoom, I give it 4 pools of blood!